Bird Streets Blog

10100 Galaxy Way | Century Hill

Century Hill
2150-2471 Century Hill
Los Angeles CA 90067

Century Hill is a 280 condo, guard gated, low rise condominium complex in Century City.

Built in 1980 by Raymond A Watt Development, who also built Watt Plaza, Park Place, and Century Woods, Century Hill’s original construction cost was $90M.  Architect Richard Stoddard designed Century Hill in a transitional European/Modern style. The Angular Metal roofs are a modified mansard shape, accented with semi circular chimney caps.

This property has an abundance of trees, hedges, gardens (including a beautiful rose garden) and grounds. It is spread over about 20 acres, of which 60% is reserved as open space. Century Hills has the best walking paths in all of Century City! Century Hills is a step up in Size, Price, and Quality from Park Place– You can get a 3BR for the same price in Park Place that you can get a 2BR in Century Hill. The entry price in Century Hill is $900,000 whereas Park Place is $750,000. Century hill sells at slightly less $/sqft than nearby neighbor Le Parc, which was built at around the same time (1979) but by a different developer.

Location

Century Hill has no busy streets nearby- Pico to the South and Olympic to the North do not affect it’s location. So you will not see a big differences in prices on different sides of the development. Century City is primarily an employment center- so the office skyscrapers attract most of the daily traffic. Westwood (including Westwood Village) and Beverly Hills are five minutes away and offer more entertainment options. Century City does have it’s highlights, such as the Westfield Mall and the Annenberg Space for Photography. 

There are two nearby Grocery Shopping options: Ralphs on 10309 Olypmic Blvd or Gelson’s in Westfield mall. 

Real Estate

Century Hill floorplans range from 2 – 4 Bedrooms. 2 Bedrooms are the most common floorplan (202 condos) and there are (38) 3 Bedrooms and (40) 4 bedroom penthouses that have elevators and are 3 floors. 

2BR: 2,000 sqft – 2,600 sqft
Price Range: $950,000- $1,300,000

3BR: 2,600 sqft – 3,200 sqft
Price Range: $1,500,000 – $1,800,000

4BR Penthouse: 3,300 sqft – 3,600 sqft
Price Range: $2,000,000 – $2,500,000

Turnover Ratio? 3.5% or about 10 condos a year

Appreciation: 3.5%

Record Sale: $2,700,000 4/5/2007

Floorplans are a mix between single story and townhouse style with stairs. The condos have high ceilings, that range from 12 feet to as high as 20 feet for the penthouses. The original finishes in the condos were pretty “retro”. Kitchens had varnished wood cabinets, ceramic tile countertops, tile flooring, and drop ceilings. Many owners have remodeled once, twice, or even three times since then. The bathrooms had brass fixtures, corian vanities, carpet, and bulb lights all over the place around the mirrors. Hopeful the condo you look at will be updated since then! There are some original features that I really like- the front Doors I think are just awesome- they would probably cost $7,500 if you wanted to buy one new today. I also really like the old parquet wood floors in the living room- if you are looking at a condo, hopefully you are lucky and they are still there. 

All these condos are incredibly spacious- starting at 2,000 sqft, these are luxury condos. The floorplans include a formal entry, step down oversized living room with a marble woodburning fireplace, and eat in areas in the kitchen and a pantry. Every condo has a generous size balcony- the Penthouses have rooftop balconies. Every condo has laundry inside. Masterbedroom suites have his and her walk in closets, double vanity, and seperate tub and shower. The Masterbedrooms are so large, they have a sitting area also- so fitting a king is no problem. For the Penthouse condos they have private garages for their cars with direct access, and a bonus room that many owners convert into a game room or home movie theater. 

Amenities

24/Hr Guard Gated

5 Pools with spa, Heated year round

2 Lighted Tennis Courts

Racquetball Court

Golf Driving Range

Fitness Center

Club House (11,000 sqft, max capacity 250 people)

Storage Unit (4’x8′)

Parking and Laundry

Every condo has 2- 3 parking spaces. The Front Entrance on Galaxy way is for residents and guests. There is another service entrance off Empyrean for Deliveries, Workman, and Moving Vans. The Subterranean garage was the largest ever built in Southern California at the time. It is 500,000 sqft and fits 980 cars! 60,000 tons of concrete- the equivalent of six miles of two lane highway, were poured to form this garage. There are over 100 guest parking spaces.

Laundry is in a laundry room inside the condo. Space for side by side washer and dryer, with linen cabinets and a utility sink. 

 Home Owners Association

HOA Website
http://www.centuryhill.org/

Onsite Management Phone:
310-557-9000

HOA dues Monthly Cost? $1,400/mo. -$2,400/mo.

HOA dues cover? Building insurance, Earthquake insurance, basic cable, water, trash, Common Area Maintenance, Reserves

Owner pays? electric, gas, internet

Any special assessments?  YES

The HOA has a $12M assessment in 2012- approximately 30K-60K for each unit

The Assesment cannot be transfered upon sale so it must be paid off at time of sale

Owner’s had Three options to pay:

  • Pay upfront and recieve 3% discount
  • 2 year no interest loan
  • 5 year loan with interest

Pet Policy? 2 pets, no weight limit

Rental Policy? No restrictions

EQ Insurance? Yes

Building Reserves?

Special move in instructions?

Can you have BBQ on balcony?

Property Management:
Management Professionals Incorporated
310-802-4808
4030 Spencer St #104
Torrance CA 90503

 

Read More

10101 Galaxy Way | Park Place

Park Place Century City

Park Place
2102 – 2142  Century Park Lane
Los Angeles CA 90067

6343334

Park Place is a prestigious and upscale gated community in Century City. There are 416 condos in 6 different buildings. Each building is a 4-story mid-rise centered around two courtyard atrium. The property has almost 14 acres of grounds, and the onsite maintenance staff keep Park Place impeccable.

Built between 1985-1989 by developer Watt Luxury Housing, who also developed nearby Park Hill and Century Woods, Park Place original construction cost was $150M. Nadel/Shapiro architects designed Park Place in a contemporary Mediterranean style.

Location

Century City’s office Skyscrapers are always looming in the background.  Many of the buildings, roads, sidewalks, bridges, in Century City are beyond the human scale which inspires feelings of awe and importance. Century City is quite at night, which attracts a lot of retirees, second home owners, and professionals, that’s the way they like things. Nearby Westwood and Beverly Hills offer plenty of exciting entertainment options so you don’t have to travel far for a big night out. Nights out in Century City are usually low key.

Within Century City the Century Plaza hotel has always been a cultural landmark. The Westfield Century City mall which was recently expanded, has plenty of restaurants, AMC movie theater, and shopping.

Century City is a Golfer’s paradise. Both the Los Angeles Country Club and the Rancho Park Golf Course are less than 5 minutes away. Park Place residents have no problem staying active with resort like onsite amenities for tennis, swimming, and fitness center.

The Ralphs at 10309 Olypmic Blvd or Gelson’s in Westfield mall are your best bet for groceries.

Real Estate

 

 

jpeg park place century city

All the condos are either 2 Bedroom (320) or 3 bedroom (96) and all are single level floorplans.

2BR: 1,300sqft – 1,700sqft
Price Range: $750,000 – $950,000

3BR: 1,800sqft – 2,400sqft
Price Range: $1,000,000 – $1,200,000

Turnover Ratio? 4% about 16 condos a year

Appreciation: 3%

Record Sale: $1,545,000  Sale Date 1/6/2006

There are 6 buildings. Each building is numbered in the order that it was built. Buildings #4/#5/#6 have slightly larger square footage because the atriums are smaller and they have different “classic edition” floorplans. Each building has two Atriums that are open area courtyards that let in light and have tropical landscaping features such as palm trees and fountains.

park place atrium

The 4th floor or each building is the penthouse level. The floorplans are the same except penthouses have extra high ceilings. All condos in Park Place have 9 foot high ceilings, however the penthouse level ceilings are 22 feet!

North facing Condos in Building #4 get street noise from Olympic. Otherwise condos are very quiet.

Kitchens are galley style or square with large pantry cabinet. The original kitchens came with whirlpool appliances and ceramic tile counter tops. Many owners have completely remodeled the kitchens.  Condos have no gas, so the stove is electric.

All floorplans have an open living room/dining room area. There are two wood burning fireplaces in each condo, one in the living room and the other in the master bedroom. Masterbedroom suites have their own private bathroom with large roman soaking tub and double vanity. Master bedrooms also have large walk in closets. The builder used a lot of marble, brass, and mirror accents that were popular in the 1980’s.

The HOA is very strict about installing wood floors. They are not allowed on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor. Only condos on the 1st floor are allowed to install them. Many home owners install very expensive berber carpets in the living room/dining room and bedrooms. This is another reason this building is really quite!

Every condo has a balcony, but they can vary greatly in size.

 Amenities

24/hr Gate Guard

park place pool34

010-IMG_7622

park place lap pool

Lap Pool

3 Pools w/ spa (1 Lap Pool) Hours 7:30 am to 10:00 pm

trrrenh

4 Lighted Tennis Courts

fxcdsf

6 Gyms (one in each building)

cdfgerwtw

Lobby (one in each building- all furnished differently)

 

zxcdsds

Club House

Parking & Laundry

281580

Side by side Laundry is inside every condo in a laundry closet in the hallway.

IMG_20140917_132600408

IMG_20140917_132235485

Deeded Parking, each condo (both 2br and 3br) have two parking spots in gated parking garage. Parking spaces can be tandem or side by side. Each building has 18 guest parking spaces. Columns that are painted blue indicate guest parking spaces. The guest parking spaces never fill up.

Home Owners Association

HOA website: http://www.centuryparkplace.org

 HOA Dues Monthly Cost? $900/mo. – $1,200/mo.

HOA dues cover? Water, Trash, 200 Channel Basic Cable, Building insurance, Common Area Maintainance, Reserves

Owner Pays? Electric (no gas), Condo Insurance, Internet

Special assessments? No

Pet Policy? Pet weight limit is 25 lb.

Rental Policy? Must be owner of record for two years before unit can be leased. Not for investors!

EQ Insurance? Yes

Building Reserves?

Special move in instructions?

Can you have BBQ on balcony? No

Management company:

Management Professionals Inc
4030 Spencer St #104
Torrance CA 90503
310-802-4808

Front Gate Phone Number: 310-556-3128

Onsite Management Office 
Hours: 8 am to 10:30 pm daily
Phone: 310-556-3185

 

Read More

Angelino Heights

 Angelino Heights Neighborhood los angeles

Angelino Heights
Zip Codes: 90026

Luckel house 1308 calumet ave

Many of the Victorian Homes in Angelino Heights were built without garages because at this time horse drawn carriage was main form of transportation

Angelino Heights is one of Los Angeles’ oldest neighborhoods. Developed by Everett Hall and William Stilson during the Land rush of the 1880’s, they named the streets – Carroll, Marion, Allison, Helen, Wallace, and Everett— fater their family members. Iona was the home town in the midwest of the Hall family. The neighborhood has been on the way up in recent years.

160 Lots for homes to be built on

Only $500 for a lot in 1902!

Most of the development in Angelino Heights happened between 1900-1910. These homes were large two story properties built for the upper middle class. With the passing of time, some of these 19th century properties have fallen into great disrepair. If you are a homebuyer looking for an opportunity to buy a big historic house to fix up, this is a great place to find one.

Angelino Height fixers

Angelino Heights Fixers

Every Lot in Angelino Heights is zone R2, which is a multifamily apartment zone. The Neighborhood fell on hard times at least twice in its 100-year history. During those times, large houses were converted into boarding houses, and many historic properties were torn down to building apartment buildings. Of the 760 Properties in the neighborhood, about 60% are apartments, and 40% are homes. There are virtually no condos. With high rents and lower prices, this is an attractive area for cash flow investment or for live in one and rent the other(s) landlords.

The community is a hillside community, so building and parking can be difficult. Homes on the top of the hill have sweeping city views.

Angelino Heights is probably best known for its Victorian era homes that lay on charm with a trowel. Take a stroll down Carroll Avenue and enjoy these magnificent and rare gems.

Angelino-Heights-Carroll-Avenue-sign

Angelino Heights was the first neighborhood to be designated as an HPOZ in 1983. In addition to Victorians, the area has some great Craftsman houses that were popular in 1910-1920.

This LA neighborhood is a colorful and eclectic mix of historic homes, income property, and people.

Location

Angelino Heights Map

Angelino Heights is a neighborhood within the city of Echo Park. It’s boundaries are Echo Park Avenue on the west, that runs along the wonderful Echo Lake. Sunset Boulevard to the North, and the 101 Freeway.

Lago_Vista_View

View of Angelino Heights from Lago Vista Condos

The main activity areas for Angelino Heights are Sunset Blvd and Echo Lake Park. Sunset Blvd has a host of café’s, record and book stores, bar 1, bar 2, bar 3, restaurants (including vegan options), art galleries, and music venues- I personally love the echoplex. There is even a bike shop! Once a year the neighborhood has a weekend festival called echo park rising that is quite well attended.

In addition, Downtown Los Angeles is only 15 minutes.

echo park vons

The Vons at 1342 N Alvarado St will probably be your regular spot for groceries. I love this place!

Every Friday there is the Echo Park Farmers market from 3PM-7PM.

Architecture

VICTORIAN- Angelino Heights is one of Los Angeles’ last remaining bastions of Victorian architecture. It’s hard to believe that at the turn of the century Victorian architecture was one of the city’s most popular styles. You kind find the Victorian homes in the oldest part of the neighborhood on Carroll Ave, Kellam Ave and Calumet Ave. The owners on Carroll paid to bury electric powerlines and install vintage streetlamps.

CRAFTSMAN- In the teens of the 20th century Craftsman architecture was really starting to take off. Many Craftsman homes were built in Angelino Heights during this period. Some were even built as residential income properties.

Income Property- Unfortunately, with a few exceptions (like the beautiful 7u streamline modern @ 1000 W Edgeware), the income property in Angelino Heights only a mother could love. You will never turn vinegar into jam. As a landlord, have a beautiful building is nice, but the most important thing is the rent. This area is a extremely strong and robust rental market.

Real Estate

Prices:

Bungalows $600,00 -$800,000

Large Houses $1,000,000 – $1,400,000

Single Family Record Sale: $1,520,000  Date 11/25/2015

Turnover: 3% (Very Low!)

Appreciation: 5%

Read More

8400 De Longpre Ave | White House

white house condos 8400 de longpre west hollywood

White House
8400 De Longpre Ave
West Hollywood CA 90069

white house condos de longpre

White House is a well-located and well-maintained 4 story, 50 condo complex in West Hollywood. Built in 1973, it was converted to condominiums in 1979. The building underwent a recent exterior painting, the common area walkways were resurfaced, the lobby was remodeled, and a totally kick @$* rooftop deck was added.

Buyers will like the big bedroom size and walk in closet. These condos are affordable and have low monthly hoa dues.

Location

De Longpre has a walkscore of 85. There is a gently sloping hillside, so walking up to Sunset or down to Santa Monica can give your Hammy’s a workout but there are so many great restaurants, cafe’s, bars, close by, you don’t need to go far to get where you want. West Hollywood Equinox is also close.

GI am still lamenting the closing of the house of Blues across the street from Skybar- it was one of my favorite Los Angeles music venues. There are still a lot of comedy (Comedy Store and Laugh Factory) and music (Viper, whiskey a go go, Roxy) on the sunset strip. Along with the annual sunset strip music festival, which I love love love.

William S Hart Dog Park

William s hart dog park bark

For dog owners, William S Hart dog park is just across the street. Your dog will be in doggie heaven on earth.

Sunset Tower Art Deco

Another goody nearby is the Sunset Tower Hotel. This building is one of my favorite Art Deco buildings in all Los Angeles!

Real Estate

The architecture is contemporary stucco style building that was commonly built in Hollywood and West Hollywood in the 70s. There are open air hallways with some landscaping. Each condo has a nice size 75sqft balcony. Condos facing the South Side have nice views. The stove in the kitchen is electric. Heating and cooling isn’t the greatest- no central heat and air. The original condos have a wall AC in the dining room, but some owners have replaced them with newer split systems. The Heat comes from a Wall furnace.  Laundry is community, each floor has a laundry room.

Bedrooms are a really nice size, and can comfortable fit a king size bed. The closet int he bedrooms is also good. All of the floorplans are single story. The building is a mix between 1 BR and 2 BR condos.

(20) 2 Bedroom Condos
1,200 sqft – 1,100 sqft
$650,000 – $700,000

(30) 1 Bedroom Condos
900 sqft – 750 sqft
$450,000-$500,000

Record Sale: 11/9/2015 $714,000

Turnover: 5% about 2-3 condos sell each year

Appreciation: 5%

Amenities

-Lobby

t0190And8moreNatural

-Rooftop Deck (open until 10 pm)

0262And8moreNatural

-Pool and Spa

316007_delongpre203_105_r

-Elevator

Parking and Laundry

34251235

1 Bedroom condos have 1 parking space, two bedroom condos have two parking spaces. All parking spaces are side by side in a gate parking garage. Guest Parking?

8400DeLongpreAve.0037-1024x683

Laundry is community. There is a laundry room on each floor with new machines

Home Owners Association

HOA dues Monthly Cost? $400/mo.

HOA dues cover?

Owner Pays?

any special assessments?  No

Pet Policy?

Rental Policy? Rental friendly, no restrictions.

EQ Insurance? Yes

Building Reserves?

Can you have BBQ on balcony?

Management company:

Property Resources Management
PO BOX 1741
Studio City CA 91614
888-875-1722

 

 

Read More

3876 Via Dolce | Marina Strand Colony II

Marina Strand Colony II
3876 – 3502 Via Dolce
Marina Del Rey CA 90292

Marina Strand Colony II is a 68 unit  midrise condo development in the silver strand neighborhood of Marina Del Rey. Built in 1978 as a follow up by California Pacific Construction Co. to Marina Strand Colony I, this development was targeted for families as opposed to singles.

All of the floorplans in MSCII are town house style with 3 levels and a parking garage. The Buiding is clad in wood shingles that have been painted pastel colors. It feels very beachy and reminds me of the Hamptons!

Location

Everything on the silver strand is 5 minute walk to the beach. Commercial at the dead end of Washington Blvd and venice fishing pier provides a fishing village type atmosphere. There are plenty of site seers trying to get a taste of what Marina Strand Colony owners get to live every day.

I like cheesecake, so I can appreciate nearby Cheese Cake Factory on Via Marina.

The Marina Beach is a little more private then the public beach if you have very little children than are just gaining their sea legs.

And of course if you like to sale, there is the Marina.

One of my favorite spots for shopping is nearby Abbott Kinney.

Real Estate

The condos are all 3 story town houses- sorry no roof top decks. Each condo has a private two car attached garage which is pretty groovey. You don’t get that with condos normally. The Living Room and kitchen is on the ground level and has huge vaulted ceilings.

Condos are all spacious with square footage ranging from 1,500-1,600 sqft. There are a few 3 bedroom condos, but most are two bedrooms.

Prices for these condos is $1,000,000 to $1,200,000 in todays market.

Record Sale: $1,262,5000   11/12/2015

Appreciation: 5%

Turnover Ratio? 6% about 4 condos a year

 Amenities

-Year round heated outdoor pool and spa

-Gym

-Sauna

-Meeting Room (could use an update!)

 Parking and Laundry

private 2-car garage. Guest Parking?

Laundry is inside the unit in the parking garage.

Home Owners Association

HOA website http://msc2hoa.com/

HOA dues Monthly Cost? $450/mo.

HOA dues cover?

Owner pays?

any special assessments?

Pet Policy? No more than two (2) pets (excluding fish) may be kept per unit

Rental Policy?

EQ Insurance? No

Building Reserves?

Can you have BBQ on balcony?

Management company:

 

CAC Property Management
5700 Hannum Ave #150
Culver City CA 90230

310-645-9921 EXT 211 (GINA)

Read More

4350 Via Dolce | Marina Strand Colony I

3950 Via Dolce Marina Strand coloney 1

Marina Strand Colony
4350 – 3950 Via Dolce
Marina Del Rey CA 90292

3432322

Marina Stand Colony I is a nautical theme 145-condo mid-rise in the silver strand neighborhood of Marina del Rey. Built in 1974 by California Pacific Construction Co., the original cost of development was $13M.

Check out nearby condo projects by the same developer: Marina Strand Colony #2 and  Marina Strand Colony #3.

When the building was finished, condos were selling really fast- the whole project sold out in a little over a year. One of the ads for the Marina Strand Colony at the time warned buyers “don’t miss the boat” because their crew was setting “sales”.

ad dont miss the boat

 

Marina Strand Colony 1 is perfect to enjoy the sea-salt-and-surf lifestyle!

Location

5 minutes to Marina Del Rey beach by foot. This beach is low key. If you want more hustle and bustle hop on your bike and ride 10 Minutes north to Venice Beach. The Silver Strand is pedestrian friendly. You will see lots of people out walking and riding their bikes.

There is a dozen beach bohemian restaurants, cafes, and bars at the dead end of Washington Blvd before it turns into the Venice Fishing Pier with no shortage of seafood! I like that a Starbucks is right there. Here are a few places to check out:

Venice Whaler

C& O Trattoria

Cabo cantina Marina Del Rey

The Cows End

Simmzy’s

The closest grocery stores are Ralphs & Bristol Farms at PCH and Marina Point Dr. Like to sail? There are six different yacht clubs in the marina you can join. Even if you don’t boat yourself, you can still enjoy the boat parade in December.

Real Estate

Record Sale: 6/17/2016  $1,291,000

Appreciation: 5%

Turnover: 5% about 7 condos a year

 The buildings are addressed:

4350, 4300, 4250, 4200, 4150, 4050, 3950

a84287ff17dd31e89e3638992002cea7

dsfdsfs

Going along with the Nautical theme, there are huge timbers in the halls that remind me of a mast. Shiplap siding also adds to the effect. The developer planted Tropical landscaping, so there are palm trees everywhere which are no 50 years old and about 30-40 feet tall. Long, dark halls, have been eliminated. Instead, short, covered bridgeways connect homes. It reminds me of walking down a wharf in a seaside village.

Floorplans

 Marina Strand Colony I condos are all 2 bedrooms except for (5) 3br condos. There are 3 floors on top of a ground level parking garage. Floor plans are a mix of Single Level and Townhouses. Any Condos with 500s unit numbers are two story. All condos with 300 numbers are two level penthouses and have huge 20 foot high cathedral ceilings and a loft bedroom and outdoor balcony. Square footage ranges from 1,400 sqft to 2,200 sqft- so these condos are quite spacious.

Living rooms have gas fireplaces. Central Heat and Air Almost every floor-plan has a powder bathroom. Every floor plan has an awesome master bedroom suite with dual closets and attached master bath. The HOA did a $20M renovation on the building in 2008, that completely redid the exterior siding, and new windows among other things- so even though the year built is 1974 it was remodeled in last 10 years. The elevators could use an upgrade- they are really slow.

The 500s condos and penthouses have two balconies, unless they are enclosed, which some owners chose to do. All other condos have 1 balcony. It’s great for enjoying the cool ocean breeze.

Prices range from $750,000 to $1,200,000 depending on floor and condition inside the condo.

Amenities

-(2) Heated Pools w/ Spa (hours: 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM)

3950ViaDolce510-31_ps-2

-Storage

-Security Guard Patrol (A Security Guard patrols the property from 9:30pm-5:30am every day of the week)

-Elevators

Parking & Laundry

 

2 side by side parking spaces for each condo in gated garage. There are plenty of guest parking spaces.

aa2b155221d5fddcd472318b75871528

Laundry is inside the condos.

Home Owners Association

Website for HOA http://marinastrandcolony1hoa.com/

HOA Dues Monthly cost? $750/mo.

HOA Dues cover?

Owner Pays?

Any Special Assessments? No

Pet Policy?

Rental Policy? No Short term rentals

EQ Insurance? Yes

Hardwood Floors? The HOA is picky about hardwood floors, I guess there has been some problems with them in the past. They are allowed, however if you are on the 2nd or 3rd floor you need to get the permission of the owner below, and the HOA will to make sure you put down enough sound insulation

Building Reserve?

Can you have a BBQ on balcony? Yes

Professional Management Company?

Action Property Management
http://www.actionlife.com/
800-400-2284

General Manager
Karen Bennett
kbennett@actionlife.com

 

Read More

Press

Million Dollar Listing Season 9 Episode 10

f44a383c-4b2c-4594-8c06-4841a3d55b4b

Los Angeles Times June 5th, 2012 Hot Property

Larchmont Chronicle, June 2012

 

Read More

5300 Village Green | The Village Green

village green baldwin hills

The Village Green
5112 – 5595 Village Green
Los Angeles CA 90016

The Village Green is a 629 condo post war planned community in Baldwin Hills. Built in 1942, village Green condos are affordable, the area is improving, and there is so much greenery and open space it feels like living at summer camp!

Village Green is famous for its urban planning. It is now recognized as a National Historic Landmark like the Statue of Liberty. Owners in Village Green are qualified for the Mills Act which provides substantial tax savings.

History

Architectural team: Reginal Johnson, Robert Alexander, Lewis Wilson, and Edwin Merrill, and landscape architect Fred Barlow Jr designed this community. They imagined it as a pedestrian friendly suburban utopia. The original architects believed in this ideal community. They all lived in the community after it was built. Reginald Johnson stayed a little over two years, Fred Barlow Jr. Lived in the village until 1948, Robert Alexander until 1951, and Lewis Wilson and Edwin Merrill lived in the village until their deaths in 1957 and 1964.

RMC2011_0214

Village Green during Construction

New Village Apartments on the rise 1941

Look at how small those trees are!

The Village Green was originally an apartment complex called Baldwin Hills Village. Local hero E.G. “Lucky” Baldwin put up some of his ranch land for this $3,500,000 project to be built and lent it his name. The apartment community always had a waiting list.

RMC2013_0174

Baldwin Hills Village Flyer

On December 14th of 1963, tragedy struck the area, when the Baldwin Hills Dam broke resulting in a flood that destroyed 250 homes and killed five people.

Dam burst with death and destruction

The Village Green was severely damaged. The Baldwin Hills Dam was closed after the disaster and never reopened.

 

Some years later after the village was cleaned up and rebuilt, the estate of Baldwin placed the Village for sale. In 1972, Terramics Corporation purchased the property, and converted it to condominiums. They remodeled the units and renamed the community “The Village Green” as it is known by today. The condominium conversion happened in stages and it took 6 years to remodel and sell all of the condos, ending in 1978. The advertisements for the Development boasted that “our grass is greener” and that the Village green was a “Heckuva Buy”.

leave the city without leaving town

Advertisement for Village Green

Location

The Village Green is located in Baldwin Hills. Baldwin hills is a very strategic and convenient commuter location. Just a block away from the 10 Freeway, and the new metro expo line- if you are traveling to work east towards downtown or west towards West Los Angeles and Santa Monica, you have a very quick commute. This is a great place to buy and build up equity if you can’t afford to live in those pricey areas right now. It’s about 15 minutes to LAX airport. If you want great dinning, shopping, and entertainment- unfortunately Baldwin Hills is somewhat lacking, however its nearby neighbors of Westchester (20 Mins), Culver City (5 mins), Downtown Los Angeles (30 mins), and West Hollywood (30 mins) and Miracle Mile (20 mins) offer plentiful choices.

The Crenshaw Mall is the major shopping area in Baldwin Hills at the moment. It is suppose to be redone over the next few years with a $500 Million dollar renovation, so I’m excited to see what happens with that area.

if you want mountainous hiking terrain and the best view of Downtown in the city, Kenneth Hahn Park and Baldwin Hills Stairs are just five minutes away.

Safety: Baldwin hills is a transition neighborhood. Over the years it is much improved, however there is crime in the area. Village Green does not have a 6 foot high perimeter wall surrounding it. People can freely move through the grounds. The HOA of Village Green is very proactive about crime, they write a monthly newsletter that they distribute to homeowners that talks about any incidents. Most of the incidents that occur are petty, like someone taking a bike, or making too much noise. All owners in Village Green look out for each other.

Real Estate

Record sale: $665,000 4/6/2016

Turnover: 4% about 25  condos a year or two a month

Appreciation: 5%

site plan

What stands out the most about the Village Green is its astounding 68 acres of land with half of that preserved as open space! You will not find any new developments in Los Angeles like this.

There are three large grassy open areas called “Greens” that run through the center of the property. The Main Green is the largest and in the center. The East Green and the West Green are on either side of the main green.

Fandango 009

These outdoor spaces are put to good use, hosting events such as weddings, movies and concerts, or outdoor activities like walking, and playing sports.

The thinking of the original architects was to make the community pedestrian friendly. There are no through streets that require intersections or crosswalks in the Village Green where pedestrians and cars mix. The roads are pushed to the outside around the perimeter. Many residents take a walk around the property every day, a full loop is about 3 miles.

Village Green is an urban forest. Its grounds are home to about 1,600 trees of all different varieties. Some of the trees I recognize are Sycamore, Olive Trees, Camphor, Box Elders, Cedar, Pines, Ash, Chinese Elm, Magnolia, Carrotwood, Eucalyptus, Oak Trees. There are hundreds of different species.

There are 10 different Floorplans in the Village Green. They are mixed between Single Level and Townhouse. Floor plan options offer 1, 2, and 3 Bedroom layouts, although the 3 bedrooms are quite rare.

Condo Mix:

1 BR (342 condos)
1,000 sqft – 750 sqft
$400,000

2 BR  (245 condos)
1,200  sqft – 1,000 sqft
$450,000 -$500,000

3 BR (42 condos)
1,600 sqft
$600,000- $650,000

Features: Kitchens were originally designed with Formica counter-tops, but many owners have upgraded them over the years. Condos have Gas, so you have gas water heater and gas stove. Kitchens are compact, usually in a galley configuration and have a window. Original floors were Parquet wood floors that many condos still have. Most of the condos have wood burning fireplaces. One of my favorite features is the huge outdoor patios many condos have. Great space for entertaining and enjoying the great outdoors.  The walls are lathe and plaster. The whole complex has a vintage mid century mod vibe. Since there is so much space between buildings, these condos get really good natural light.

Parking & Laundry

16-181034_e24bb34a-9e8e-497e-a6b9-cbd7cbb61664

Each Court has a Laundry Room. There are two washers and 2 dryer in each laundry room. The laundry room machines have recently been upgraded to accept credit cards. Owners are allowed to install Laundry in their condos with HOA permission. Residents can sign up for a time slot for exclusive access to laundry facilities, one hour per week between 8am-2pm. After 2pm is open to all.

324dsf

For Parking, each condo gets one assigned garage space. This space is only allowed for parking and NOT Storage. The HOA does an inspection each year of the garages to make sure every owner is in compliance. Additional Parking is available in parking spaces around the property.

Home Owners Association

The HOA in Village green is very active. There are several committees that owners can volunteer to part of and they write a monthly newsletter.

HOA Website:
http://www.villagegreenla.net/

HOA dues Monthly Cost? 1 BRS $400/mo. 2 Brs $450/mo.

HOA dues cover? water, trash, maintenance of landscaping and building insurance, reserves

Owner Pays? Electricity, Gas, Condo Insurance, Internet, Cable

any special assessments? No

Pet Policy? There use to be no pets in the past, so there are still some residents who don’t like them, however now Village Green is very pet tolerant. One pet is allowed under 30lbs.

Rental Policy? Rentals are allowed, so these condos make good investments. Lease terms must be a minimum of one (1) year. No Short term rentals

EQ Insurance? No

Building Reserves?

Special move in instructions?

Can you have BBQ on balcony? Yes

Transfer fee?

Management company

Ms. Sherri Giles, Operations Manager
Village Green Owners’ Association
5300 Village Green
Los Angeles, CA 90016

(323) 294-5212

Office Hours:
Mon-Fri 8am – 5pm.
Walk-in hours: 8am – 11am; 3pm-5pm.

 

 

Read More

Credit Repair

Oviatt building downtown - Copy

 

If you are reading this, chances are your credit needs a little work (or maybe a lot!). Real life has a way of not working out like the bedtime stories we were told as kids. The economy is cyclical, and if you have too many financial commitments during a recession, you can get into a bad situation.FICOScorephoto-1

Credit Damage doesn’t have to be a downturn in the economy either. A financial hardship such as a divorce, student loans, health issue, job loss, foreclosure, lawsuits, or bankruptcy can flip your life upside down.money_20s_vs_30s_8

 

Maybe in the past you were irresponsible with money, and borrowed more than you could pay back and now you have to pay for it.

Regardless of what the reason is, when your credit is damaged- it makes it hard to rent a place to live, buy a home, buy a car, you have to pay higher interest rates, and frankly, it’s embarrassing.

The first thing you need to do before your credit can improve is to get yourself in a situation where your income consistently covers your living expenses and allows you to save. Sometimes, this means the very humbling experience of moving in with a family member until you get back on your feet again.

Once you are in a good place financially- it is a good time to start repairing your credit.

Credit Basics

One of client’s with credit issues told me that they wish their teachers in school taught them about credit. It’s true, they don’t teach students about credit in school. You basically have to learn about it from your parents, friends, or from your personal experience. Credit is very important and is something every adult needs to know. If you already know the basics of credit skip down to the credit repair section. If you are somewhat clueless about how credit works, then these basics will catch you up to speed.

There are three credit Bureaus in the United States that track financial data:

-Transunion

-Equifax

-Experian

3-major-credit-bureaus

Major creditors (think mortgage companies, credit card companies, hospitals, insurance companies, the government) report to these credit bureaus. Creditors report the status of your credit accounts with them. Their report will say whether your credit is in good standing or late, delinquent, in collections, charged off, or settled. Each Bureau uses this information to give you a credit score. Keep in mind that if you do not use credit, you will not have a credit score because there is no information. This can happen for people who pay for everything in cash or with a debit card and don’t use credit. Even if you don’t believe in credit, it’s a good idea to get an emergency credit card, and to use enough credit to get a score, because this is the system we live in.

All-3-Credit-Scores

When you pull your credit score from each Bureau you will find that their scores vary. This is not uncommon, because some creditors only report to one or two of the bureaus while other creditors report to all three, so each bureau has slightly different information. Typically the scores between Bureaus doesn’t vary by more than 10 to 20 points. In some cases it can be as high as 40 points but that is rare.

What does the credit score mean?

Credit scores  are an estimate of the likelihood that a person will pay back the money they borrowed.

Credit scores can range from a perfect 850 to the lowest score of  400’s. If you are trying to qualify for a mortgage on a home, lenders want a credit score of at least 620-650, but I’d shoot for 660-680 range because the loan terms will be better. If you are trying to rent an apartment most landlords will be looking for at least 600 credit score on $2,500 month leases or less, and can want 700 scores for leases in the $3,500-$4,000 or higher price range. Any credit score below 600 is generally considered bad credit.

fico-credit-score-range - Copy

Credit scores of 700+ indicate that the borrower pays their bills, pays their bills on time, and are currently is in a strong financial position.

Credit scores between 600-700, show that the borrower pays most of their bills, may pay some of their bills late, and is currently in an OK financial position.

Credit Scores between 500-600 show that the borrow doesn’t pay all their bills, regularly pays bills late, and is in a shaky financial position.

Credit Scores below 500 are very bad and suggest that the borrower doesn’t pay many if any of their bills, and is in a very bad financial position.

Keep in mind that if your financial situation has improved but you have not repaired your credit, your credit score will not accurately reflect you. That’s why it is important to work with a credit repair company when your situation improves.

How do the Credit Bureaus come up with my Credit Score?

The formula for how the Bureaus determine your credit score is as closely guarded as the secret recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken. However, the credit Bureaus do tell you the different factors that are used to determine the credit score and how they are weighted

Screen-Shot-2015-09-17-at-12.14.56-PM1

Payment History (35%)

To have good credit you need to pay your bills on time. Payment history has the greatest impact on your credit score. Paying bills on time raises your score. Late payments lower your score. Late payments can be 30, 60, 90, 120 days late. After that time, late payments can go into default and are sent to collections. Having a collection, charge off, or settlement on your credit report dramatically lowers your score. If you have any delinquent accounts on your credit report, settling them and deleting them will improve your score. Credit Repair companies can help you do this.

bad credit report

All these Late payments and collections lowered this person’s credit score under 500

Debt/Credit Use (30%)

Debt is how much of your available credit you are using. For Example, if you had a credit card with a $5,000 limit, and you had a $4,800 balance on the card, you would only have $200 left of available credit. With credit cards- the more money you borrow the higher your minimum monthly payment. Keeping high balances on your credit lines is bad for your credit score. You want to keep the amount of credit you use between 50% – 30% of the limit, the lower the balance the better. So for the Example of the $5,000 limit credit card, keeping a balance of no more than $1,500 to $2,500 on that card is good- if you can pay off the credit card completely each month that is ideal. If you have very high balances on your credit cards paying them down will improve your credit.

Length of Credit History (15%)

The longer your credit accounts have been open and in good standing the better. If you don’t have much of a credit history, it may be a good idea to sign up for a few credit cards – even if you don’t need them or use them they will help establish your credit history. Newly opened accounts lower your score initially, (see new credit), they will improve your score once they’ve seasoned in a year or so.

Type of credit (10%)

A good mixture of different kinds of credit can strengthen your score. If you have an auto loan, credit cards, and mortgages this shows the credit bureaus that you have good relationships with different types of creditors.

New credit (10%)

Opening new credit can temporarily hurt your score until those accounts have seasoned. Credit Inquiries can also lower your score, especially if you have made multiple inquiries in a short time. Inquiries from mortgage companies and automobile loans are treated as only one inquiry if they are made within a 45 day period. The credit bureaus know that consumers may decide to shop around a bit before deciding on a big purchase.

How long do Derogatories stay on my Credit Report?

A derogatory is a late payment, charge off, settlement, collection. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) says that credit bureaus may only keep records for seven years back. So if you do nothing in seven years any bad credit items will be removed. However, seven years is a very long time, and if you work with a credit repair person, they can remove a derogatory in 1 or two years instead of having to wait 7.

There are some exceptions to the 7 year period:

Bankruptcy (10 years)

Judgments

Taxes

How do I check my credit?

You can ask Lenders, real estate agents, credit repair company, to check your credit score. Or you can check it yourself with online services such as creditkarma.com, freecreditreport.com, etc. With the online service be sure to read the fine print, they usually will let you check your credit for free, but also sign you up for an automatic monthly subscription service.

Credit Repair

As I said in the beginning of this article, if you are still in financial distress it is not a good time to start working on your credit, because even if the credit repair company helps you open new lines of credit, and remove derogatories, it won’t do any good if you are still getting late payments, and collections. When your financial situation has improved, but your credit score doesn’t reflect that- that is a good time to start working with a credit repair company.

What do Credit Repair Companies do?

Credit Repair companies advise you on which credit accounts to open, close, and pay down or pay off. They also challenge collections and charge offs on your report and settle and delete them. They help you raise your credit score.

I have no credit, can a credit repair company help me?

Absolutely! I see this a lot with foreign nationals, who have just moved to the United States from another country. The first thing you want to do is sign up for a secured credit card so you can start building your credit right away. Credit Repair companies will help you get a high score quickly.

How much can a credit repair company improve my credit score?

Anybody can have good credit, if you make good decisions, and get help from a credit repair specialist there is no reason you can’t get to a perfect score of 850.

How long does it take to repair credit?

It depends on your current score. 3-6 month’s  if you are in  the 600 range. 6 months – 1 year  if you are in the 500 range. And 2 years if your current score is below 500.

How much do credit Repair Company Cost?

It depends on your current score. For people with 600 scores it won’t cost as much to repair their credit as someone with a 500 score. In general they charge between $1,000 to $2,500 range to repair credit. This is money well spent because you will save this money on interest, and will make your life easier.

Should I hire more than one credit repair company?

No, you should only hire and work with one credit repair company at a time. You might think by hiring two or three credit companies that your score go up faster. This is not true. The information that your credit repair company is the credit bureaus and creditors needs to be consistent. If you have two or three different people talking on your behalf and they are all saying different things, this could actually hurt you and not help you.

Do you have referrals for Credit Repair Companies?

Jon Foley
Shamrock Credit Repair
818-554-1134
jonfoleyloans@sbcglobal.net

R.L. Kramer
http://rlkramer.com/
406-730-7989
information@rlkramer.com

DCR USA
http://www.dcrusa.com/
951-246-7754

 

 

 

Read More

1300 Midvale Ave | Westwood Gardens

1300 Midvale Ave westwood

Address:
Westwood Gardens
1300 Midvale Ave
Los Angeles CA 90024

westwood gardens advertisement

1300 Midvale Ave is a 6-story, 60 unit, mid-century condo building in Westwood. Westwood Gardens was built as apartments in 1968 by developer Oscar Altman at a cost of $1,500,000. In 1979, prominent Westwood Developer Kam Hekmat of Indivest  converted the apartments into condos. Indivest also condo converted Park Westwood, Village House (11044 Ophir), and 540 Kelton.

Although not in the Westwood Village neighborhood per se, Midvale is as close as it gets, and should be given consideration by Westwood Village Condo Buyers, especially since there are so few condos in the village!

streetscape

Westwood Gardens has an excellent walking location, beautiful mature trees, upside potential and great balconies. The HOA has recently redone the Lobby and is planning to paint the hallways. However there is still a lot more work to do to bring 1300 Midvale up to date. The first thing should be replace the elevators and redo the hallways which need new carpet and the popcorn ceilings smoothed. The Spa and rec room could use some love.

Location

From the front steps, you might overhear a skinny blond 30 something wearing a pair of $600 Gucci sunglasses ordering a Salmon Skin Salad for lunch- to be delivered. Or see Blue and Gold emblazoned UCLA sweatshirts in their native habitat- purchased freshman year from the student union bookstore.

Westwood Gardens is just 5 minute walk to UCLA campus/Westwood Village and Hammer Museum, or at the same distance- visit the restaurant and shops of Westwood Blvd. Taste of Tehran is my favorite Persian restaurant in Westwood to do lunch.

Easy access to the 405 freeway. A large park- Veteran Park, is nearby, but there are a lot of homeless now. The closest grocery store is Bristol farms on corner of Ohio and Westwood Blvd. Trader Joes and Ralphs are in Westwood Village. Bustling Century City Westfield Mall or the sleepier Westside Pavillion are there for all your shopping needs. Being close to a college campus (one of the most beautiful in the country in my opinion and they have a fantastic extension program), you don’t have to look far for a coffee shop! Or a study partner! The Neighborhood is urban and has high density, with a mix of large apartment buildings, and condo buildings.

Real Estate

There are 60 condos total. The Layout of the building is an L Shape, the outside of the L faces Wellworth on the North and Midvale on the West. Condos that face these directions get indirect sunlight and tree top views. Condos on the inside face the Rec Facility and Pool Area, since they face south, they get direct natural light. I prefer the view of the trees personally.

One of the unique features of Westwood Gardens is the 40 foot cubist wall sculpture in the Atrium. Oscar Altman, the original developer, was an amateur sculptor himself, which might explain why he commissioned Claire and Michael Hanzakos to create the piece. It is a little spoiled nowadays by Bird Spikes, but I’m guessing the Pigeons found the curves of the shapes a perfect for roosting spots. To me, the building almost feels like an art museum like the old Midcentury LACMA building (demolished) the way it is laid out. I love the atrium!

Every condo has a balcony, Floorplans in the ’01 Stack and the ’07 stack have 3 balconies! The Balconies range in size from 60 sqft (12ft x 5ft) to 120 sqft (16ft x 7ft).

Condos are mix of 1Br and 2Br floorplans, they are all single level. The building is evenly divided between 1 bedrooms and 2 bedrooms. There are (30) 1 Bedroom condos and (30) 2 Bedroom condos.

1 Bedrooms: 750 sqft to 950 sqft
Prices: ~$500,000

2 Bedrooms: 1,000sqft to 1,400 sqft
Prices: ~$650,000

Record Sale: $654,000 6/9/216

Turnover Ratio: 7% (about 4 sales a year on average)

Appreciation: 4%

Since the building was built in 1968 condos that have not been remodeled are dated. Many condo are remodeled. The Ceilings were Popcorned- many owners have smoothed their ceilings and added recessed lighting cans.

The building is completely Electric (except for community laundry rooms)- this means that in the kitchen the range is electric, and the water heater is also electric.

The heating and cooling system in this building is a little funky. The Cooling system is commercial and maintained by the HOA similar to what you would see in high-rises on the Wilshire Corridor.

chiller commercial

There is a large chiller on the roof that sends cold water to the heat pumps in each condo for air conditioning. Unlike normal heat pumps, these heat pumps cannot be reversed to both heat and cool but only cool. The building was built with a completely separate heating system. The original heating system was electric radiant heating embedded in the ceiling. Some of these ceiling electric radiant heating systems still work, in a few condos. The majority don’t work and are broken. No companies service this type of system anymore either so it cannot be repaired. The HOA does not maintain the Electric Radiant heating system nor will the install a new heating system if you condo does not have heat. The HOA has put the responsibility of heat on the owner. Many owners hire HVAC companies to install floor radiators ($4,000-$5,000), or a split wall mounted system ($3,000 per unit installed).

Amenities

-Lobby

westwood gardens lobby

westwood garden lobby doors

-Atrium

westwoodgardens atrium

-Pool (pool hours?) Hours of use: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. + Spa

1300 Midvale Ave Pool

spa 1300 midvale

-Rec Room

rec room westwood gardens

-Storage Bin

storage room3

-Rooftop Patio

Rooftop deck

-Elevators 2 elevators a freight elevator and normal elevator

Parking & Laundry

Parking is in two gated garages. Each garages is on its own level.

wellworth parking garage

Wellworth Entrance

The ground level garage entrance is on Welworth.

midvale parking garage

Midvale Entrance

The Underground garage access is on Midvale. (1) deeded parking space for 1 bedroom condos and (2) deeded parking spaces for 2 bedrooms condos. There is no guest/visitor parking.

Owners do Rent and Lease parking spaces from one another, check the bulletin board near the mailboxes for updates.

Laundry is community Laundry. There are coin operated laundry rooms on each floor. Washer/Dryers are not permitted to be installed in condos.

Home Owners Association

westwood gardens logo

HOA dues Monthly Cost? $400-$650/mo.

HOA dues cover? Water, Trash, AC, Building Insurance, Common Area Maintenance, Reserve

Owner Pays For? Electric, Internet, Cable, Condo Insurance

Any special assessments? None now, but likely in future

Pet Policy? Maximium 2 pets, either dogs or cats

Rental Policy? No restrictions on number of rentals or how long a owner must own a condo before they can be rented, so these can be purchased for investment. HOA does specify the Maximum number of occupants: two people maximum in 1 bedrooms and four people maximum in two bedrooms.

EQ Insurance? No Earthquake Insurance

Building Reserves? 100K 15% funded

Special move in instructions? Moving times are: 8:00 am to  5:00 pm Monday through Saturday, no moving on Sunday.

Can you have BBQ on balcony?

Management company:

Ontrack Management

877-278-5598

Transfer fee?

Read More